Our office is proud to have a staff member on call and available for 24 hour emergency coverage. We will always be available to provide care to our patients for both pediatric and orthodontic emergencies in a timely fashion.
If you are currently experiencing a dental emergency, please call our office.
True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself. We will schedule your appointment as soon as possible to resolve the problem.
After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!
Loose Band or Bracket
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment. Call our office to schedule a repair appointment if a bracket or band is loosened or removed. As repair appointments are longer, this may not be able to be done during your regular appointment time.
Try to place the wire back in place with tweezers. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.
Sometimes as teeth shift, the ends of the archwire will start poking out of the back of the last brace and may begin irritating the cheeks. Fortunately, most times this can be handled at home very simply with some orthodontic wax. It is important to try and dry the area first (with a paper towel), then roll up a piece of wax into a ball.
Place the ball of wax into the area of the poking wire. The wax will smooth the area and keep the tissue from getting caught on the end.
If wax is not helping to alleviate the discomfort, use a pencil eraser to push the poking wire down or away from the cheek so that it is no longer poking. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment. If the wire will not move, cover the area with wax or a small piece of cotton and call the office to schedule an appointment.
Some patients will lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it’s worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.